The 11 Hairstyles That Are Going To Dominate Summer 2021

Chop, chop!

To say 2020 was a roller coaster of a year would be something of an understatement. And while the onset of a new year might not instantly make the struggles of the previous one disappear, there is one thing we can do to feel refreshed and ready: change our hair.

After all, a new year is an excellent time for a new ‘do, no? And with time in lockdowns having changed our relationships with our locks (hello, self-cut fringes and next-level regrowth), it’s safe to say that a good chop or change can work wonders for our outlook.

So, to help you navigate choosing a new hairstyle amid the onslaught of options, we consulted some of Australia’s leading hairdressers to get their expert takes on the trending cuts, colours and styles for summer 2021.

From the latest bob haircuts to the freshest in fringes, scroll on (and prepare to screenshot) the leading looks of the season.

Plus – it’s important to look after your new ‘do – so we’ve got some tips on how to treat hair damage – including the best products for damaged hair in Australia.

S-bend hair waves
(Credit: @brycescarlett)


Renya Xydis, Creative Director and Founder of Valonz and Salon X by Renya Xydis:

“The ‘S-bend waves’ or ‘barely bent waves’ is an effortless summer classic. Ask your hairdresser for light layering that will allow your hair to fall naturally with a bit of texture to achieve this style. Using a straightener or curling wand, add some light bends to your hair, brushing out with a wide tooth comb for a ‘lived in’ look with a slight wave/bend in the hair. The amazing part of this style is it is suitable for most hair lengths as it simply adds some texture and dimension to the hair.”

Kaia Gerber long bob
(Credit: Getty)


Brad Mullins, Pantene Haircare Ambassador and Celebrity Stylist:

“The Bob is ICONIC! Ever since it was created by Hairdresser Antoine De Paris in France in 1909 it still one of the hottest haircuts ever! One thing I love is that it’s so versatile, straight, curly, natural dry, layered, flicked out or blunt cut (one of my favourites), it’s a style that can suit everyone. Some of my favourite Kweens rocking the bob are actress Ana De Armas and model Kaia Gerber’s super short is so chic. Kourtney Kardashian has also rocked the bob of late – it’s important to pull inspo pre-chop!

But just because your hair is short it doesn’t mean you don’t need to give it some treatment love – so here’s how to reduce damaged hair. 

Pantene Miracle Mask Collagen

I’m really into Pantene Miracle Mask Jar Collagen at the moment as it one of the best treatments for hair damage and makes drying so much easier. Your hair will be easier to style and leaves the most beautiful movement and shine to your hair.”

natural hair
(Credit: @missscampbell)


Kevin Murphy, Founder and Creative Director of Kevin Murphy:

“Just like fashion we’re going to see the switch to seasonless hairstyles! The days of going blonde for summer and brunette for winter are well and truly gone. Instead, there’s going to be more of a movement towards embracing your own natural colour and texture. Think: subtle highlights that enhance your make-up free complexion and styling products to emphasise your natural curls, rather than creating manufactured ones.”

French girl fringe
(Credit: @maralafontan)


Anthony Nader, Salon Owner and Creative Director at RAW Anthony Nader:

“COVID has been a game changer, that’s for sure, in more ways than one—and I’m sure you would agree with me here—that includes fringes. Now that clients are feeling more confident coming back to the salon, they still want that strong technical haircut, but the end result has to look ever more worn in and softer. Fringes this season aren’t as blunt or rigid [and] they sway easily. They are a little longer, fluttering over the eyelashes and super-soft on the ends. This fringe is my top contender for the lady that wants low-maintenance and oozes ‘French-girl’ chic.”  
The Queen's Gambit hair
(Credit: Image courtesy of Netflix)


Joey Scandizzo, Co-Creative Director of ELEVEN Australia:

“‘Change’ is the most requested haircut of the minute! I feel like people have had so much time looking at themselves, and they’ve work-shopped new looks for themselvesprobably because of all the extra time they have had to deep dive into watching Netflix and scroll Instagram. I love it! I love the big jobs and making someone discover a new style for themselves that makes them feel good. Anna Taylor-Joy’s late ’40s and mid-’60s-inspired bob from The Queen’s Gambit are a major source of inspiration right now. The cut is going to suit someone with an oval face shape and the best way to style it is by using a small round brush. This is perfect for short styles to create irregular texture with kinks and bends through mid-lengths like Anna’s, its perfect for short bobs. Take horizontal sections and wrap the mid-lengths around the brush once keeping the ends out and the curl in an upwards motion, blast with heat and allow to cool, once cool, release the hair from the brush and you will have the right amount of kink.”

beach hair
(Credit: @mashalnazari_)


Renya Xydis, Creative Director and Founder of Valonz and Salon X by Renya Xydis:

“A classic for a reason, it wouldn’t be summer without messy, beachy waves! This look is incredibly laid back and versatile for many hair types and lengths. Ask your hairdresser for loose, beachy waves. The best way to achieve this look is by using texturizing spray to give the hair volume and texture, finishing off with loose waves using a curling wand. This look can be taken from the beach to the office and out for drinks. It’s the effortlessly ‘undone’ look that screams summer!” 

Hailey Bieber hair summer blonde
(Credit: @haileybieber)

How to reduce damaged hair this summer

Wondering how to fix damaged hair this summer? We’ve got you. All that surf, sand and sun can wreak havoc on our locks… some of the best treatments for hair damage include using the correct shampoo and conditioner, using the best products for damaged hair (like masks and oils) and getting regular chops to trim off those split ends.

Bella Hadid hair
(Credit: Getty)


Joey Scandizzo, Co-Creative Director of ELEVEN Australia:

“I remember this being one of the most requested haircuts you could ever do back in the day! It’s funny to see that everything that goes around, comes around again, and I love Bella Hadid’s cool take on ‘the Rachel’ (circa season four). Just be sure that it’s a nod to the original, not an exact copy. You don’t want to look like you’re going to a Friends reunion. It’s such a cool style and great for that sun-kissed beach look. Ask your stylist to focus on cutting heavy layers in the front (rather than the back), and to add chunky bright blonde pieces framing your face.”
French girl cut
(Credit: @taylorlashae)


Kevin Murphy, Founder and Creative Director of Kevin Murphy:

“Just as sustainability is now woven into brands’ priorities, diversity is now given equal attention. Beauty and hair trends are now more inclusive than ever! It’s about embracing the individual, and from what I can see working backstage at Melbourne Fashion Week in 2020, there is actually more of an ‘anti-trend’ going on. No one wants to be boxed in to one category anymore. It’s going to be more about going with not just how you look, but how you feel. One thing’s for sure though, everyone is embracing change and something new at the moment! People want to look different, and they want to feel different. Women are more daring than ever before, potentially because they are over their long, lockdown hair and opting for short daring crops giving them a new individual sense of freedom!”

balayage hair inspiration
(Credit: @negin_mirsalehi)


Joey Scandizzo, Co-Creative Director of ELEVEN Australia:

The main trends seem to be low maintenance colour work that really looks really natural and blends the old with the new. Things like face-framing is really popular, including subtle face-framing highlights and reverse balayage for a softer look, which helps blend in all that lockdown regrowth! I love that people are really open to warmer, golden-brown tones as well. Blondes are not afraid of a few gold tones or creamy beige, and brunettes are enjoying a lot of soft copper tones, which is beautiful. Something else I have noticed is that for some people, it’s the first time they have seen their natural hair colour in a while, and they realise it actually suits them! We are taking a lot of blondes back to brunette, which is fun. Use this image of Negin Mersalehi as a reference! Make your colour really multi-tonal with a mix of subtle warmer shades.”

asymmetrical bob haircut
(Credit: @frejabeha.erichsen)


Anthony Nader, Salon Owner and Creative Director at RAW Anthony Nader:

“Another top contender that I’m snipping out on a regular basis is this bob length that YSL model Freja Beha Erichsen showcases. It’s a smart bob—a confident bob, if you will—and doesn’t mince words. [The reason] why I enjoy cutting this shape is because it gives my clients the versatility to blow it out, so it can look super sharp and precise for dinner and drinks on the town, or wear it naturally after going for a swim in the salt water, which gives you that Summer beach texture that looks ever so effortless.”
'70s-style flip hairstyle
(Credit: @chrisappleton1)


Renya Xydis, Creative Director and Founder of Valonz and Salon X by Renya Xydis:

“The ’70s are coming back in the form of blowouts. The classic ’70s flip’ or ‘hair flick’ is having a major moment this summer, as people look for an alternative to the trendy waves and messy beach look. This look gives a more polished finish and can easily be done with a round brush while blow-drying. Ask your hairdresser for the classic ’70s flip (or ‘flick’). This look tends to hold better on hair around shoulder-length or shorter, but versions of this look can be achieved at any length, just chat to your hairdresser about what would suit your hair best.”

Brought to you by Pantene.

Related stories